Skip to main content

tv   American Morning  CNN  February 4, 2010 6:00am-9:00am EST

6:00 am
plans to repair. some experts saying those pedals are not the problem. right now a judge in haiti is weighing judges against ten americans accuseded of trying to leave the country with those children. the missionaries insist they did nothing wrong. we've uncovered new allegations the americans may have known their so-called mercy mission was against the law. and welcome to the tea party. cnn is putting the spotlight on the growing political movement that has democrats and republicans in its crosshairs. the first ever tea party convention opens today, and the best political team on television will cover it from all angles. just ahead jim acosta dig deeper in a tea party showdown for florida's senate seat. we begin with a big bump in the road for toyota, so to speak. there's now a problem with the prius that's coming to light. more than 100 owners have registered complaints about the brakes in the popular hybrid. toyota admits it discovered a design flaw last month but never
6:01 am
made it public. there's also a new development with the sticky accelerator pedals that prompted toyota to recall millions of other vehicles. some safety experts claim it is not the pedals that are causing the problem but actually an electronics problem, an electrical situation. combine that with a stunning comment yesterday from transportation secretary ray lahood, and it's no wonder millions of toyota customers are confused. >> my advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it it, take it to the toyota dealer because they believe they have the fix for it. >> well, lahood later clarified those comments. he meant, he said, that owners should get their cars fixed as soon as possible. the transportation chief also promised to widen his agency's probe into a possible electronic cause of the sudden acceleration in some toyota models. something that toyota has ruled out, but one michigan family is blaming it for their mother's death. our deb joins us live with the cnn inclusive.
6:02 am
you were here when they said, look, we identified the problem, and now we know how to solve it. now that's all changing this morning. >> reporter: that's right. we spoke to that one family. it's not just that one family. it's hundreds of others coming forward, questioning when toyota knew about these problems and whether they acted quickly enough to fix them. what's more, last night a lawyer here in los angeles filed a preliminary injunction asking a judge to order a much, much larger recall. driving this road in flint, michigan, lily alberto is haunted by her mother's last moments, the fear this woman must have felt trying to control her toyota camry as it barrelled down a quiet street at 80 miles an hour. >> she nicked that street, and the car went airborne, and it was going 80 miles per hour. it hit the tree on the top, and it just went down. she died instantly.
6:03 am
>> reporter: guadalupe alberto, by all accounts, was an extremely careful driver in good health. >> that was the first thing that i knew something had to be wrong because my mother would never cross the street because of the two-way traffic. >> reporter: witnesses say the car seemed to speed out of control. no one knows exactly why, but it fits the pattern of thousands of incidents of unintended acceleration involving toyota vehicles. after a recent spate of high profile accidents, toyota recalled millions of cars, not including the model driven by guadalupe alberto. they blamed floor mats and sticky gas pedals, yet a growing number of automotive experts and class action lawyers like richard mccuin say that explanation just doesn't fit. >> what i hear over and over and over again, i'm driving down the road, and my car just takes off on me. i apply the brakes. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. that's the pattern that we have seen.
6:04 am
>> reporte >> so i think unequivocally these recalls simply do not get to the core of the problems that toyota has. >> reporter: safety analyst john kane has looked at more than 2,000 accelerator incidents involving toyota and believes the problem lies in the electronic throttle system, which controls the speed of the car. >> these are completely computer-guided systems, and we all know that electronics fail. they do fail, and they will fail. the problem with toyota is they haven't built enough fail-safe devices into their cars to ensure that drivers get control of the vehicle when a failure happens. >> reporter: during a press conference in japan this week, a toyota executive ruled out any software or electronic issue with the accelerator. >> translator: for the electronic control unit, we could not come across any case where we found that there was a misfunction in this control
6:05 am
system. >> reporter: mccuin says toyota's recalls are disturbing in their limitations because they don't apply to all makes and models that have allegedly experienced the acceleration problem, like the '05 camry guadalupe alberto was driving. based on your evidence, you're suggesting that there are cars on the road that right now should be recalled? >> i think the recalls cover less than half of the models and model years that need to be part of this recall. >> reporter: toyota says it bases its recalls on defects that have been identified and not solely on reports of unintended acceleration. late wednesday, mccuin filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, demanding toyota recall all vehicle models allegedly affected and also install a brake override system that would stop a car that's accelerating out of control. >> while everybody tries to figure this out, including toyota, i presume, we need a system so that these sudden accelerations do not become deadly accidents, and that's what the brake override system
6:06 am
does. >> reporter: a system that possibly could have saved the life of guadalupe alberto. >> once in a while when i'm -- i come by this just to say a prayer, just to come and look and remember the place where she died. but it's very painful. it's still very vivid in my mind, in my heart. >> reporter: now, the national highway traffic safely administration, or nhtsa, has already conducteded several investigations into toyota. now it says it's going to take a fresh look at the electronics system to see if it could be a factor in the acceleration system. >> that poor family. deb feyerick, thanks very much. now to toyota's latest troubles. a flaw in the brake system of the prius. we're tapping into global resources. jung law joining us from tokyo. a completely different problem,
6:07 am
but the same brand, the same issue for toyota. >> reporter: same brand, same issue. we're talking about something that is fundamental to this vehicle, the ability to brake. we're talking about the toyota prius. a hasty news conference, what we heard from toyota executives is what's happening here is a failure with the abs system. so when you press on the brake of the brand new 2010 prius, the brake doesn't fully function. there's a gap. exactly how long that gap is, toyota executives say it is less than a second. they couldn't quantify beyond that. so the fix is a software glitch. they've clicked the software into place in cars produced after january. so if you own a 2010 prius produced after january and beyond, you're fine. but if you own a 2010 prius before then, that's the question. exactly how toyota is going to remedy that, reach out to those customers. at this point, toyota says, quote, we need more time.
6:08 am
toyota also saying they don't believe this glitch is a big enough to be a recall level, that they are not going to issue a recall at this point. it is something that they're thinking about, but right now, christine, they say it is not necessary based on the information that they have. christine? >> this is such an incredibly important part of the toyota brand strategy for the future. this particular car, the prius, this is supposed to be the gold standard of hybrid electric cars. one question is raises, i think, all of these issues is how quickly this company was growing. the vast far flung globalization of the manufacturing processes in these cars. you know, some, the body is made in one place, the brakes may be made someplace else. the engine is designed one place by engineers and in another place installed somewhere else. are there any concerns the sheer complexity is one of the issues here they're trying to track down? >> reporter: it depends who you talk to. if you talk to toyota, they say absolutely not. quality was not compromised in our effort to globalize.
6:09 am
if you talk to any analyst, i cannot find a single analyst who does not point to this problem. if you have one company that is producing one part for millions of vehicles and there's a problem with that one part, then millions of vehicles are affected. in the old days, it was maybe 100,000 cars that were affected. so certainly it's opening them up to potential problems if there is a problem with that part, regardless of what toyota says. >> kyung lah in tokyo, thank you. >> it's interesting because, when we had jim lentz, who's the ceo of toyota u.s., he said maybe we did grow too soon. >> customers right now are much pickier than they were years ago because they're not buying cars like they used to. it's very important for brand strategy and to keep control of your product at the time when maybe they've lost some control of their product. >> exactly. other car companies are trying to actually capitalize on that. we'll continue to follow the latest from toyota throughout the morning. other stories. self-herself guru james ray will
6:10 am
be in court this morning to face manslaughter charges. he's charged with the deaths of three people that took part in a sweat lodge ceremony he organized back in october. ray is being held on $5 million bail, but his attorney calling the charges unjust, saying ray will be exonerated in court. sources say michael jackson's live-in doctor conrad murray will be arraigned tomorrow in connection with the singer's death. murray's lawyer says his client is ready to surrender if a charge is filed. murray has admitted giving michael jackson a powerful sedative hours before he died. meantime, a las vegas judge found murray in default on a nearly $132,000 debt related to office medical equipment and services. ten minutes past the hour right now. we get a check of this morning's weather headlines. our rob marciano in the cnn weather center. i see a lot of blue that looks like it's headed our way on your radar there. >> good morning, guys. this is going to be another big storm for the mid-atlantic especially. remember a month ago when the
6:11 am
d.c. area got crushed with over 20 inches of snow. this may very well be a repeat performance. look at the moisture on this thing. a huge scope of precip from snow across kansas and heavy rain in through parts of the gulf states. this rain shield is deep in its extent of moisture. its expanse is heading off to the north and east. will get into atlanta in just a couple of hours. it will run into colder air as it gets towards the mid-atlantic. winter storm watches and warnings are posted for the carolinas in through parts of virginia, including d.c. and baltimore. new york might get clipped with this as well. we'll detail it a little bit more in about 30 minutes. back up to you. >> we're going to get our shovels and our innertubes. thanks, rob. still ahead on the most news this morning, we're taking a look at the tea party movement on "american morning." today we're focusing on how a key senate race is being influenced and how it all may have started with a hug. 11 minutes past the hour. to ans you help our community get what it needs for the next, oh, 10 years.
6:12 am
we can't move forward until you mail it back. 2010 census hey, buddy, i appreciate the ride, you know? no problem. mind if i take a shortcut? yeah, sure. [ tires screech ] ♪ [ man ] i knew the subaru legacy was the smart choice. ♪ what i didn't expect was the fun. [ male announcer ] the subaru legacy. feel the love. he sure is working up an appetite up there. bet you guys are, too. how about some hamburger helper? cheeseburger mac... how 'bout some after the show? hamburger helper. one pound. one pan. one tasty meal.
6:13 am
6:14 am
welcome to the best news in the morning. it's 14 minutes after the top of the hour. a quick check of other stories new this morning. the first ever tea party convention begins today in nashville, tennessee. cnn has it covered with the best political team on television. >> that's right. we're taking an in depth look at the growing tea party movement. also, some of the anger directed at both parties in washington and what it could mean for the midterm elections. >> in florida, a darling of the tea partiers has the state's governor in a fight for his political life. here's jim acosta with part two of our special series. >> we know that it's important that we pass the stimulus
6:15 am
package. >> reporter: for republican florida governor charlie crist, it's the hug that just won't let go. his embrace of the president and of the stimulus program at this town hall meeting last year could cost this once rising gop star a shot at a u.s. senate seat. >> i've been hearing about these tea parties now for a while. >> reporter: meet marco rubio, he's challenging crist for the gop nomination for that senate seat in a darling of the tea party movement. rubio has turned the hug into a fund-raising gift that keeps on giving. would you give president obama a hug? >> why? why would i? depending -- i don't even know him. why would i hug someone i don't know? >> reporter: charlie crist has gotten himself in a lot of trouble for hugging president obama. >> ultimately, that gets a lot of attention, but what he really got in trouble for is supporting a plan that is helping to bankrupt this country. >> i find at events like this is a growing number of americans who have never been involved in politics before. i bet you, that's a lot of you. >> reporter: rubio takes his message of smaller government
6:16 am
and lower taxes to tea party rallies. >> this is the great awakening. >> stop the spending. an unnecessary thing. >> reporter: in his youtube page features tea party activists venting their anger at washington. polls show rubio has closed a 30-point gap and just might win the party primary. >> would you be the first tea party senator if elected? >> i'm running as a republican. >> reporter: it's not a political party? >> it's not a political party. >> reporter: crist by contrast is no tea party animal. do you ever sit down with any tea party activists and talk to them? have you talked to them over the phone? >> no, not really. >> reporter: not once? >> no. happy to. i probably have and don't know it. >> reporter: for members of the tea party express, it's no contest. >> you know what's wrong with the republican party? republicans embracing tax and spend policies? no. that's not what the republican party is supposed to be about, and that's what charlie crist just did. >> reporter: even former
6:17 am
democrats are ready to take down the biggest names in politics, from democratic senate majority leader harry reid to republican john mccain. but democrats say all that in-fighting between crist and rubio actually presents an opportunity. >> i'll take either of one of them as long as they're wounded and limping into the general election. >> reporter: crist, who has a 50% job approval rating is not backing down from a tea party fight. he defends the stimulus as a job saver and notes rubio has stated he too would have accepted funds from the program. >> about 20,000 teachers would be out of work today in my state. i can't in good conscience look them in the eye and say you and your family are going to be without a bread winner. people have to eat. >> reporter: he's gambling conservatives will come around. to find conventional wisdom in his own party, crist met president obama for another stimulus event last week. did you get any feedback from your fellow republicans in this state that maybe you shouldn't be there when the president landed in tampa? >> a lot actually. >> reporter: they were telling you don't do it?
6:18 am
>> yeah, quite a few people. i got a lot of advice. >> reporter: they shook hands for 27 seconds. >> i think people really want -- i think they're honestly sort of tired of the bickering they see coming out of washington. i think that's part of the change they want to see. it's part of the reason i'm running for the united states senate. i think we need more civility. >> reporter: so we're going to see the outcome of these two very different approaches in florida, marco rubio embracing the tea party movement, charlie crist certainly not embracing the tea party movement. the primary is on august 24th. so there is lots of time for this race to change. things have already changed in florida. the chairman of the republican party in florida has stepped down because of the furor going on between these two candidates over whether or not to embrace the tea partiers. when jim greer, the chairman down there, announced essentially his support for charlie crist, the tea partiers savaged him. he stepped down. he said to me, when i talked to him about this story, he said, somebody tell me when i stopped being a conservative. >> wow, interesting. >> very interesting. absolutely.
6:19 am
we'll be covering it throughout the morning and check in with you again. thanks, jim. >> sounds good. also still ahead, cruising for a kaus. our last part of the series in the tea party, we'll tell you about a carnival cruise to the caribbean where tea partiers sound off about the president ship to shore. that's right here on "american morning." >> what do you think of the tea party movement? share with us on cnn.com/amfix. >> and with stephanie elam, we'll take a look at the biggest stock market losers of the past decade. 19 minutes after the hour. ♪ happy anniversary wow!
6:20 am
[ grunts ] oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. aah! [ door opens, closes ] wow. what's the occasion? [ male announcer ] relax. pam helps you pull it off.
6:21 am
6:22 am
22 minutes past the hour right now. it's time for "minding your business." we have stephanie elam with us this morning. >> that's a surprise. >> hey, nice to see you. we've got it covered this morning. >> any business that happens, we're good. >> the biggest stock losers of the past decade. >> we're taking a look at the market losers, the biggest one of the past decade. as you may remember, there's a bubble that happened in the late '90s. it led to really great stock numbers. once you hit those levels, there's only one place to go, down. that's exactly what's happened here. let's go ahead and show you the first one. that would be cisco systems, a loss of $425 billion to its
6:23 am
market value over the last decade here. they had a peak market cap of $557 billion. recent market cap, $132 billion. obviously, when that tech boom burst, that bubble burst, it really affected them. their stock never recovered although they still remain a top company there. general electric, they lost $423 billion during the last decade. obviously, a lot of pain there. their peak market cap was $601 billion. let's go to intel. they lost $400 billion over the last decade. again, you'll see a lot of these companies, the biggest time for their market cap, when it was at its highest, was august of 2000, and then it's just been downhill since then. microsoft lost $390 billion during that decade. still the second largest company behind exxon mobil, though. >> this is why they call it the awful aughts. this was a horrible decade in general. the return of the s&p over the last ten years is negative for the first time in history, even adding in your dividends. >> it shows you how rough it has
6:24 am
been for a lot of companies. >> here's to a better decade. >> you go down, you have to come back up, right? >> stephanie, thanks. next on most news in the morning, we'll have the latest on ten american baptists being held in haiti accused of child trafficking. what were they really planning to do when they were caught? karl penhaul will have an update. have put their faith in sun life financial. we should be a household name.
6:25 am
and we will be. so you're suggesting that we change our name from florida, the sunshine state, to...? florida -- the sun life state. the posters will be so cool. sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial. oh sure, we have plenty of employees that... you can label as "different." like janice.
6:26 am
uh-huh. yeah. fashion deficient. and tom... copy incapable. it's open kimono time. looking good, dan. oh, we want to make sure all our ducks in a row. yeah. volume control syndrome. but we focus on the talent and skill that each person... brings to the team. i mean, no one's really concerned about labels. not even mine. labels get in the way. disabilities rarely do. visit thinkbeyondthelabel.com to evolve your work force.
6:27 am
26 minutes after the hour. top stories only minutes away. first a new twist this morning on american missionaries jailed in haiti for trying to take 23 children to dominican republic. >> all ten men and women have had a hearing before a judge in haiti, and so far they haven't been charged. we've recovered startling new allegations the group had been told their mission was illegal. karl penhaul has been following all of it. here's a look. >> they said they were coming to save haitian orphans in jesus' name. first they seemed naive but well-intentioned. but haitian and dominican authorities now paint a different picture. they say the baptist missionaries had no proper paperwork and were, in fact, warned last friday their so-called mercy mission was illegal. >> and i warn her, i say, as soon as you get there without the proper documents, you're going to get in trouble because they're going to accuse you because you have the intent to pass the border without the
6:28 am
proper papers, and they're going to accuse you of kid trafficking. >> reporter: but that's very different from what the group's leader, laura silsby, told cnn in a jailhouse interview. >> we went to the dominican consulate and was told there by the consulate general to go ahead and head towards the border, that we should be fine, you know, to pass. >> reporter: less than four hours after they met the consul, silsby and the other americans were arrested at the border with 33 haitian babies and children, accused of child trafficking. haitian steve adrien, who translated for the group, says he believes any paperwork the americans had may have been facilitated by haitian policemen who worked at the dominican consulate. >> they met a police guy and telled him that he could help, and he was helping them with
6:29 am
some paper. >> reporter: a senior haiti police chief confirms this police officer was taken for questioning about whether he provided illegal travel documents for a bribe. a jailhouse interview saturday and sunday with cnn, silsby and the other americans appeared to portray themselves as well-intentioned but naive. >> i can tell you our heart and our intent was to help only those children that needed us most, that they had lost either both mother and father. >> reporter: but another interpreter working for the missionaries says criteria for selecting the children was not whether they were truly orphans but if they were under age 10. s with laura well aware that these children were not orphans? did she know they were not orphans but had a parent or two parents? >> did she know that they were not orphan? >> reporter: yes. >> yeah. >> reporter: an austrian charity now caring for the children says
6:30 am
it has already confirmed two-thirds of them are not orphans. some of the children came from this mountain village of calebasse. lily, like other parents we met here, says he was too poor to care for his daughters after the quake. he hoped the americans would give his girls a better future. i put them both on the bus with the americans with my own hands. i kissed them both good-bye and told them don't forget daddy, he said. police gave cnn permission to talk to the missionaries again in jail tuesday night to discuss allegations they knowingly flouted the laws here and of taking young children that weren't orphans. but they were in no mood to talk. ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound ♪ >> reporter: they drowned out questions with hymns. karl penhaul, cnn, port-au-prince, haiti. here are your top stories
6:31 am
this morning. toyota now admitting there's a potential safety issue with its top-selling hybrid, the prius. the automaker confirming a design flaw with the braking system was discovered and corrected late last month. there are new questions about millions of other toyotas that have been recalled. many safety experts believe an electrical problem and not sticky gas pedals are causing sudden acceleration problems. a senior intelligence official says a top taliban operative is believed to have been killed by an american missile in pakistan. a government official telling the associated press the terror leader may have been hit by a u.s. predator drone last month. the terror leader has taken responsibility for numerous attacks, including the deadly blast inside a cia base in afghanistan last year. and music city usa is playing host to a party today, a tea party. nashville is the site of the first ever national tea party convention getting under way later today. groups from around the country
6:32 am
are gathering to vent their anger at washington, and they're hoping candidates will reach out for their support. the convention's keynote speaker, sarah palin will speak on saturday. >> as part of our special coverage, welcome to the tea party. the best political team on television tracking the convention all weekend. what does the tea party want to accomplish? who are its leaders? what do they mean for the future of american politics? we're bringing in jim avalon, columnist of "the daily beast." great to see both of you. you're about to head down there. you're going to the convention on friday and getting a firsthand look. tell me what this convention is all about. what's it being billed as? >> it's being billed as the first national tea party convention. it's a real grass roots movement over the last year that's really managed to capture the debate in american politics. a lot of misconceptions as well. it's a leaderless movement. a lot of controversy about the fact this is afor profit convention. they've lost speakers.
6:33 am
first, the idea of independent voters, the fastest growing part of the electorate, and the tea party protestors, who are significant but a less populist movement than the registered independent voters in general. >> are they republicans that are sort of disenfranchised with mainstream gop? >> they're in large part republicans who are disenchanted with the gop brand, and they're in search of a new brand. right now the tea party brand is a hot brand. if you go to these events and you see these folks with the tea bags hanging off of their hats, you know, this is something that's fun for them, and, you know, it gives them a chance to vent their frustrations. at the same time, you do see former democrats out there. you do see independents out there. but by and large, this is a very conservative movement. >> so let me ask you this. what is the platform? what are the biggest concerns? are we talking fiscal conservatism or social conservatism? >> fiscal conservatism. this began last spring, february, and then in protest ins april, this is purely a
6:34 am
fiscal conservative movement at this point. these are folks saying i'm angry at the bailout backlash, the overspending, the growth of government. they're mad athe overspending and bailouts under bush, but they weren't taking to the streets under bush. the real catalyst is barack obama and democratic control of congress. >> why isn't it more of an independent movement? many of the independents say they're angry at the bailout. >> absolutely. the overlap is fiscal conservatism. most important difference is independents overall are angry at the polarization of the two parties in washington. tea partiers are angry the parties aren't polarized enough. they want the republican party to be further to the right. >> so there's an element of anger and frustration we're seeing when we see the rallies. what do they tell you about what they want to see? what is the change they want as part of this movement? >> they want to see -- they want to bring fiscal discipline back to washington. that's what they talk about. they want to see lower deficits. they don't want to see any more bailouts. they want to see the unused
6:35 am
bailout money to go back to paying off the deficit. that's one specific policy they'd like to see. >> let me ask you a question. isn't sarah palin going to be keynoting this? sarah palin also known for her social conservatism specifically and her positions. >> that's how disorganized this movement is. >> do they believe sarah palin would be able to get our federal house in order in terms of the budget? >> absolutely. i think a scenario could take place in the next couple of years where sarah palin is not considered the gop front-runner for the nomination in 2012. you're going to see tea party folks who want to see her run as a tea party candidate. will that be a viable candidacy? i don't know. will that be a viable effort? maybe not. there are people who want to see that happen. >> there is an element of social conservatism in terms of these issues, pro life issues, issues relating to gay marriage, other things like that, in addition to the fiscal reserve conservatives. >> a lot of organizers say we're libertarian on these issues, primarily focused, but the
6:36 am
leaders tend to be both fiscally conservative and socially conservative. you can tell the disconnect is between conservative voters and the populist movement in this way. look at sarah palin, the leading figure in the political establishment. you look at rush limbaugh, other leaders. these are folks who tend to be hugely popular with conservatives, both fiscal and social. but they're not popular with independents and centrists. that's where you can see all of a sudden this web starting to come. this is really a conservative populist movement. >> one important thing about this convention we should note this week is two of the major groups, the tea party express, which ran the big bus tour last year, very popular, very successful, they're not involved in this convention this week. and also the tea party patriots. you have to keep in mind there are folks inside this movement who don't like the other folks inside this movement. so it's kind of hard to put together a political party in na respect. that is why you have some folks in the movement saying, no, we need to gravitate eventually to the gop, cleanse the gop, take it over, make it adhere to tea party principles and then go forward. >> this is interesting because the democratic governors
6:37 am
association blasted that fund-raising memo they sent to reporters saying the tea party has become a truly dangerous political force. how influential? how much of a difference can they actually make in terms of winning for candidates they actually want? >> they've been great at raising money and rallying supporters. but it depends on the state. this has been a wakeup call in american politics. scott brown's election wasn't all about the tea party. but they are engaged citizens. they're reading their constitution and focused on the fundamentals of american politics and engaging in an old debate, what is the fundamental role of government? they believe government has grown too far, too fast, and they're angry. the danger is they went extremes. the extremes can lead to a major backlash among most americans, who look at the anger who seems a little unhinged and say that's not me. >> that's one thing that could happen on this crist-rubio race. crist is banking on the point folks may get overdosed on rage and eventually come back to civility in politics. that's what he wants mp
6:38 am
>> and we're talking about the florida senate race, which we'll have more on. great talking to you about this. a lot of folks asking questions. john avlon and jim acosta, we appreciate it. all my business information is just a phone call away-- to my wife... who's not answering. announcer: there's a better way. intuit quickbooks online p9 organizes your business in one place, and helps you stay on top of your business anytime, anywhere. get a 30-day free trial at intuit.com.
6:39 am
6:40 am
6:41 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. investigators sketched out a terrifying scene at a hearing on last year's deadly plane crash near buffalo, new york. >> they called it a combination of inattention, confusion, and basic incompetence that caused a plane with 49 people on board to literally fall from the sky. now we're learning the airline that operated the flight may not be doing everything it can to make sure pilots are on top of their games now. our allan chernoff has been following this story for more than a year. he brings us the latest this morning. >> reporter: the safety board concluded that fatigue probably did hurt the performance of the pilots, though it couldn't be blamed for their tragic mistakes that led to the crash. now cnn has learned colgan air has been getting tough with crew members who don't go to work because they're tired. faa regulations require pilots to be fit for flight. a tired pilot is supposed to call in fatigue. >> a pilot has every right, he
6:42 am
has a responsibility to remove himself from flight if he's fatigued. >> reporter: yet colgan air, operator of doomed flight 3407 that crashed a year ago, recently issued a memo to limit fatigue call-ins. aviation safety experts say that amounts to pilot pushing, pressuring crews to fly whether or not they're fit. the internal colgan memo states crews may not call in fatigued if they're coming off a break of at least 12 hours. the safety department will ultimately determine whether a fatigue call is acceptable or not. the memo threatens "blatant abuse of the fatigue option will be addressed as a disciplinary action." >> in light of this tragedy, that is certainly a disappointing action on behalf of colgan airlines and one that unfortunately is a very poor reflection, i believe, on their internal safety culture.
6:43 am
>> reporter: colgan declined to appear on camera but told cnn it's been working with the pilots union on policy. "we are not looking to punish people," said a colgan spokesperson. "the company is trying to encourage professional behavior." but it's disturbing to the sister of crash victim beverly eckert. >> there's these buzz words of "blatant abuse," "discipline," plainative action. these intimidate a pilot who's calling in fatigued because they're going to be judged. >> reporter: the transportation safety board blamed the pilot for errors that caused flight 3907 to crash. but the board's investigation also concluded colgan air did not proactively address the pilot fatigue hazards. colgan captain tells cnn colgan provided only three hours'
6:44 am
notice of its new policy and that the pilots opposed the "presumed guilty" approach of the memo. now sigeloff says colgan and the pilots association are working together to revise the fatigue policy. the goal, he says, is to make it nonpunitive and make colgan as safe an airline as possible. >> allan chernoff for us this morning. wow, it just really makes you think. makes you think twice before you fly. >> it really does. a year later still uncovering the different -- the way this industry works. it's 44 minutes after the hour. rob will have the morning's travel forecast after the break. and then in ten minutes, they became popular, just as popular as the game itself. we're talking about the super bowl ads, and our jeanne moos is looking at some of the best of the best. 44 minutes after the hour. saved $373. ( scoffs ) false! it is false. they actually saved more. an average of $473 a year. now that's the right answer. ♪
6:45 am
i've been growing algae for 35 years. most people try to get rid of algae, and we're trying to grow it. the algae are very beautiful. they come in blue or red, golden, green. algae could be converted into biofuels... that we could someday run our cars on. in using algae to form biofuels, we're not competing with the food supply. and they absorb co2, so they help solve the greenhouse problem, as well. we're making a big commitment to finding out... just how much algae can help to meet... the fuel demands of the world.
6:46 am
this is a honda pilot. and this is the chevy traverse. it has more cargo space than pilot. including the most space behind the third row. and traverse beats honda on highway gas mileage too. more fuel efficient and 30% more room. maybe traverse can carry that stuff too. the chevy traverse. amer. compare us to anyone and .
6:47 am
47 minutes past the hour now. welcome back to the most news in the morning. time for your a.m. house call, stories about your health. the fda is now seeking additional information from tobacco companies. it's all part of an investigation into smokeless dissolving tobacco products. in response to the companies manufacturing the products, officials said they were worried the brightly covered packaging and flavors like mint and coffee are too much like candy and could be enticing to kids and teens. starting today, expectant moms can get pregnancy tips sent directly to their cell phones. the so-called text for baby program is a free mobile service designed to promote safe
6:48 am
pregnancy and curb premature births. you can join it by texting baby to 511411. you can get messages about baby development and milestones. these text messages are tied to your due date. how they know your due date, i'm not quite sure yet. we'll figure that out. for many of us, the doctor is just a click away. a government study finds more than half of americans between the ages of 18 and 49 have surfed the internet to get health information. women were more likely to use online chat groups to learn about specific health topics. and several used the internet to refill prescriptions and make appointments with a health care provider. how much do you wish that your doctor e-mailed? i always wished my doctor could e-mail. >> my doctor doesn't e-mail because she would be inundated with dumb questions. just make an appointment and get paid for it. it's 48 minutes after the hour. let's get a quick check of the weather headlines. over to rob marciano. >> good morning, christine and
6:49 am
kiran. we are looking at a storm that's going to rival what came through the mid-atlantic about a month, month and a half here. double barrel low. the southern low is going to take charge. already gathering a decent amount of moisture. that moisture is going to dump heavy rain across the southeast today. some of that heavy rain is going to move into colder air. exact same scenario like almost what we saw in late december. the rain shield already starting to move into atlanta. look how consistent it is. very, very deep moisture with this. it's only going to get deeper as it continues to tap moisture from the gulf of mexico and the atlantic. two areas of low pressure. a lot of atmospheric energy with this as well. the northern fringe of it through the plains, just a little snow. once it gets into the northeast, we're looking at a decent amount. we could see anywhere from 10 to 20 inches in some of these spots. it may not get all the way to new york. the exact track of this will determine how far north it gets. looks like d.c., baltimore, and philadelphia, pretty good bet as seeing a significant snowstorm beginning tomorrow afternoon and lasting through saturday.
6:50 am
if you are traveling today, houston and atlanta with the problem spots. freezing drizzle in minneapolis, where it will be 31 degrees. expect a high temperature of 36 degrees in new york city. the cold air in place. the only question for the big apple is does the moisture get all the way there tomorrow night? i know, kiran, your kids are hoping for that. christine, you're a big snow fan as well. we'll try to push it north for you. >> together we have four kids hoping to go sledding this weekend. >> can i drop them off at your house? >> thanks, rob. this morning's top stories are moments away, including at 7:10 eastern, don't call them republicans either. cnn is cutting through the noise, taking an in depth look at the tea party movement. many feel they've been abandoned by the leaders of their parties in washington. why one former rising star of the gop may fall victim to it. >> at 7:55 eastern, doctors diagnosed with fatigue. are you at risk because they're overworked? a new push to make sure your doctor stays sharp. also at 7:47 eastern, they don't call it the alligator alley for nothing. our john zarrella taking us into
6:51 am
the florida everglades where you can almost get a face -- or you can almost get right to the jaws of some of the kindest gators. do you believe that, kindest gators? >> i'll let john zarrella and his camera crew show us. >> exactly. that's a very scary sight there. he'll show us more coming up at the top of the hour.
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
tim now for the most news in the morning with jeanne. sometimes at the super bowl the bathroom break is the big game because no one wants to miss the commercials. >> now there are even commercials promoting the ads. jeanne moos has a sneak peek of the ones that made the cut and even a few you won't see. >> reporter: whether it's doritos in a casket or a video game gone to hell called dante's inferno. ♪ only darkness every day >> reporter: it's time for those infernal super bowl ads and even online previews promoting the ads. yes, in the third quarter, e trade has even put outtakes online. >> why are there any girls here? >> dennis is right behind me. >> reporter: and its budweiser
6:55 am
saying its going to drop the clydesdale horses this year and put an ad featuring them online so folks could vote to bring them back. football? who cares about football? 51% of viewers surveyed by nielsen say they enjoy the commercials more than they enjoy the game itself. doritos lets you make the commercial. 4,000 submissions were smacked down to 6 finalists. >> keep your hands off my mama. keep your hands off my doritos. >> reporter: a pastor dreamed up the one about a guy faking his own death so he could eat doritos while watching the game. >> we paid for 70 bags of doritos. >> reporter: he says it was inspired by an actual funeral. >> and he wanted to be buried with a pack of cigarettes and a can of beer. they slipped it into the casket. >> reporter: most popular amateur spots will actually air and could conceivably win a prize of $1 million or more. >> anti-bark collar?
6:56 am
you want a dorito, you got to speak. >> reporter: not inspired filmmaker made this on a shoestring budget. >> 300 bucks. >> reporter: rosie the dog takes off her anti-bark collar. coke will feature characters from the simpsons. dr. pepper will feature kiss, and mini-kiss, a tribute band made up of little people. sometimes little tweaks are required. cbs wouldn't allow the tag line in the ad for the dante's inferno video game, so it was changed to "hell awaits." what's heavenly in terms of free exposure is having your ad rejected. this year cbs gave the thumbs down to a gay dating service called man crunch. their hands meet in the snack bowl, and soon they're snacking on each other. ♪ i want to kiss this guy >> reporter: take that, kiss. jeanne moos. >> it's denise. >> reporter: cnn, new york. >> that's my favorite one.
6:57 am
>> that's mine too. the dog collar. >> we all laugh. still ahead, your top stories. living with foot pain?
6:58 am
get gold bond pain relieving foot cream. maximum strength medicine stops pain fast. gold bond pain relieving foot cream. finally, fast relief for painful feet. hell eowe and welcome to "american morning." it's thursday, february 4th. glad you're with us. i'm kiran chetry. >> and i'm christine romans sitting in for john roberts this morning. toyota really taking it on
6:59 am
the chin this morning. the automaker now admitting there are safety problems with the popular hybrid, the prius. and there are new questions about the company's fix for millions of cars with sticking accelerator pedals. some experts now claiming those pedals are not the problem. and welcome to the tea party. cnn is putting the spotlight on a growing political movement that has democrats and republicans in its cross hairs. the first ever national tea party convention opens today, and the best political team on television has it covered from all angles. just ahead, our jim acosta looks at how the tea party furor is influencing a key senate race in florida. is your doctor too tired? is nearly 100,000 americans die every year from preventible medical errors. a contributing factor, physician fatigue. some residents clocking 120 hours a week. how can you protect yourself? we're making an a.m. house call this morning. our top story this hour, add the prius to the list of toyota
7:00 am
vehicles with safety problems. millions of concerned toyota owners wondering this morning if it's wise to get behind the vehicle. >> toyota is now acknowledging many prius hybrids already on the roads may have problems, problems with their antilock braking system. the automaker is admitting this morning it discovered a design flaw and corrected it late last month but did not alert the public. toyota service centers are now swamped. many of the millions of customers with recalled cars are attempting to get sticky accelerator pedals repaired, and many are rattled by remarks made by transportation secretary ray lahood. >> we need to fix the problem so people don't have to worry about disengaging the engine or many slaing their brakes on or putting it in neutral. that's really our goal. >> no, i agree. we're looking into the situation. >> my advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it. take it to the toyota dealer because they believe they have the fix for it. >> we're tapping into the global resources of cnn to bring in the latest developments with toyota's safety problems.
7:01 am
our debra feyerick live in los angeles looking into the serious new question about the automaker's plan to fix the millions of cars already recalled. but we begin with kyung lah live in tokyo where toyota just went public with the big brake problem we've been talking about with the prius. good morning, kyung. >> reporter: good morning, kiran. it's not a big problem if you listen to toyota executives, but it is definitely a problem. we're talking about the third generation prius, known in the united states as the 2010 prius. the bottom line here is that there is a software problem with its antilock braking system. when you press on the brake in certain circumstances, you don't get that full braking feel, accord to go toyota. so how long is that gap? toyota is saying it's less than a second. well, depending on how fast you're going, if you're traveling 60 miles per hour, one second is 88 feet. so that's significant. toyota definitely saying, though, this is less than a second but would not quantify exactly what kind of time frame
7:02 am
we're talking about. toyota says they have a fix in place. it has already been put into cars that have been produced beyond january, beyond last month. if you own a new generation prius prior to january, toyota says they haven't figured out exactly what to do about that. they say that they, quote, need a little more time. at this point, toyota says, this does not rise to the level of a recall, kiran, but certainly on this day, when they're announcing the third quarter earnings and looking at their financial books, certainly not the news they hoped to deal with. kiran? >> the other thing is are they answering the question of why they said they did not note identiify the public when they said there's this design flaw with the brakes? >> reporter: they specifically addressed that. they deal with a number of quality issues, little quality issues that dealers bring up constant willy, and they classified this as being a minor quality issue. they did not feel this rose to the level of anything further, of customer notification. something to keep in mind, there
7:03 am
are some 100 complaints filed with nhtsa. toyota is going to have to deal with this issue very quickly. >> kyung lah in tokyo this morning, thank you. now the millions of americans driving recalled toyotas wondering how wise it is to get behind the wheel this morning. the automaker is shipping the part that will fix the sticky accelerator pedals, but there are new questions this morning about that fix. debra feyerick is joining us from los angeles with the exclusive story of a michigan family looking for answers after suffering an unimaginable loss. deb? >> reporter: you know, christine, it's not just that one family, but hundreds of others now coming forward. they say what happened to this woman also happened to them and that maybe toyota knew about these problems and didn't act quickly enough. what's more, here in los angeles a lawyer has filed a class action lawsuit. he's filed a preliminary injunction saying it's not just the cars that are recalled, but many more cars that should be off the road.
7:04 am
driving this road in flint, michigan, lilia alberto is haunted by her mother's last moments, the fear the 76-year-old woman must have felt desperately trying to control her 2005 toyota camry as it barrelled down a quiet street at 80 miles an hour. >> she nicked that tree, and the car went airborne, and it was going 80 miles per hour, and it hit the tree on the top, and it just went down. she died instantly. >> reporter: guadalupe alberto, by all accounts, was an extremely careful driver in good health. >> that was the first thing that i knew something had to be wrong because my mother would never cross the street. because of the two-way traffic. >> reporter: witnesses say the car seemed to speed out of control. no one knows exactly why, but it fits the pattern of thousands of incidents of unintended acceleration involving toyota vehicles. after a recent spate of high profile accidents, toyota recalled millions of cars, not
7:05 am
including the model driven by guadalupe alberto. they blamed floor mats and sticky gas pedals. yet a growing number of automotive experts and class action lawyers like richard mccuin say that explanation just doesn't fit. >> what i hear over and over and over again, i'm driving down the road, and my car just takes off on me. i apply the brakes. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. that's the pattern that we have seen. >> so i think unequivocally that these recalls simply do not get to the core of the problems that toyota has. >> reporter: safety analyst sean kane has looked at more than 2,000 accelerator incidents involving toyota and believes the problem lies in the electronic throttle system which controls the speed of the car. >> these are completely computer-guided systems, and we all know that electronics fail. they do fail, and they will fail. the problem with toyota is they haven't built enough fail-safe devices into their cars to ensure that drivers get control
7:06 am
of the vehicle when a failure happens. >> reporter: during a press conference in japan this week, a toyota executive ruled out any software or electronic issues with the accelerator. >> translator: for the electronic control unit, we could not come across any case where we found there was a misfunction in the control system. >> reporter: mccune says toyota's recalls are disturbing in their limitations because they don't apply to all makes anded month e emodels that haved the acceleration like the toyota camry guadalupe alberto was driving. you're suggesting that there are cars on the road that right now should be recalled? >> i think the recalls cover less than half of the models and model years that need to be part of this recall. >> reporter: toyota says it bases its recalls on defects that have been identified and not solely on reports of
7:07 am
unintended acceleration. late wednesday, mccune filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, demanding toyota recall all vehicle models allegedly affected and also install a brake override system that would stop a car that's accelerating out of control. >> while everybody tries to figure this out, including toyota, i presume, we need a system so that these sudden accelerations do not become deadly accidents, and that's what the brake override system does. >> reporter: a system that possibly could have saved the life of guadalupe alberto. >> once in a while, when i'm -- i come by this just to say a prayer or just to come and look and remember the place where she died. but it's very painful. it's still very vivid in my mind, in my heart. >> reporter: the national highway traffic safety administration, better known as nhtsa, has already conducted
7:08 am
several investigations into toyota. now it says it's going to take a fresh look at the electronics system to see if it could be, in fact, whether in fact that electronics system could be a factor in acceleration. christine? >> deb, one thing that's just amazing to me is cars today are so high tech. in fact, there are data recorders similar to the black box on airplanes. shouldn't those recorders, or can those recorders have any kind of information to help explain why this engine surge is happening? >> reporter: well, absolutely. as a matter of fact, we asked toyota that question, and a spokesman told us that data recorders on their vehicles are not programmed specifically to detect unwanted acceleration. only the last five to six seconds before air bags deploy. the lawyer we interviewed believes they're programmed that way deliberately, especially since, if they did register the braking and the acceleration, it would give valuable information about why sudden acceleration is occurring. >> deb feyerick, thanks so much. i guess the bottom line here, are millions of toyotas now on
7:09 am
the road really safe to drive? in less than 20 minutes, we'll be joined by joan claybrook, a former administration for national highway traffic safety administration, and david rosenberg, the owner of a group that operates two toyota dealerships in new england. >> you certainly want your cars working this weekend, especially if you live in some parts of the country. we are expecting a storm. rob marciano is keeping track of all of this this morning. going to need the four-wheel drive in some parts. hey, rob. >> good morning, kiran. this storm is gathering strength along the gulf of mexico and gathering a lot of moisture. it's still cold across parts of the northeast. that is the recipe for yet another winter storm. huge expanse of moisture from nebraska all the way down to the mexican border. you can see it stretches now all the way towards the atlanta area. the rain shield with this is pretty widespread. the moisture from top to bottom in the atmosphere is pretty deep. so plenty of rainfall to go around. we will see some patchy flooding today, and then tomorrow it turns into snow along the
7:10 am
appalachians and up through the mid-atlantic and through the delmarva especially. the question is how far north does it get? it may skim new york city, but we're pretty certain it's going to hit d.c. and philly and baltimore with a significant snowstorm, maybe as much as 15 or 20 inches in some spots. we'll continue to fine tune this forecast. much more in 30 minutes. >> a reminder that winter is not over. >> not yet, no matter what the groundhog says. welcome to the tea party. the showdown in florida with some really interesting political dynamics. jim acosta to break it all down for us. that's next. to use legalzoom for important legal documents. so start your business, protect your family, launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
7:11 am
and all your little mile-pebbles ameriprise financial can help. we have over ten-thousand advisors ready to listen to your dreams and help you plan for them. because the first step towards reaching what you want is reaching the person who can help you get there. our advisors. your dreams. more within reach. meet us at ameriprise.com. and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs, we're able to tailor a plan using a full suite... of sophisticated investment strategies and solutions. so whatever's around the corner can be faced with confidence. ♪ northern trust. look ahead with us at northerntrust.com.
7:12 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. 12 minutes past the hour right now. today the national tea party convention kicks off in nashville, and it's billed as a coming together of many grass roots groups that popped up around a year ago. people fed up with the bailout and fed up with the big deficits. people who feel abandoned by their own political parties. >> all this week cnn is going to cut through the noise and take a
7:13 am
comprehensive look at the real issues that brought people here in a special series "welcome to the tea party." that grass roots rebellion is impacting a key senate race in florida. >> there is a candidate heavily favored by tea party protestors is giving the state's most powerful politician a run for his money. our jim acosta is following that in the second part of our special series. thanks for joining us this morning. this is heating up. first in massachusetts, and now all eyes on florida. >> you mention ee eed the tea p convention happening in nashville. everyone at the convention is watching the florida race between marco rubio and charlie crist. one tea party member has referred to marco rubio as the republican barack obama. why? he's not just going after democrats, he's going after a fellow republican, much of it over a hug. >> we know that it's important that we pass a stimulus package. >> reporter: for republican florida governor charlie crist, it's the hug that just won't let
7:14 am
go. his embrace of the president and of the stimulus program at this town hall meeting last year could cost this once rising gop star a shot at a u.s. senate seat. >> i've been hearing about these tea parties now for a while. >> reporter: meet marco rubio. he's challenging crist for the gop nomination for that senate seat and a darling of the tea party movement. rubio has turned the hug into a fund-raising gift that keeps on giving. would you give president obama a hug? >> why? why would i? depending -- i don't even know him. why would i hug someone i don't know? >> reporter: charlie crist has gotten himself in a lot of trouble for hugging president obama. >> ultimately that gets a lot of attention, but what he really got in trouble for is supporting a plan that is helping to bankrupt this country. what i find at events like this is a growing number of americans who have never been involved in politics before. i bet you that's a lot of you. >> reporter: rubio takes his message of smaller government and lower taxes to tea party rallies. >> this is a great awakening. >> stop the spending. an unnecessary thing.
7:15 am
>> reporter: in his youtube page features tea party activists venting their anger at washington. polls show rubio has closed a 30-point gap and just might win the party primary. would you be the first tea party senator if elected? >> i'm running as a republican. >> reporter: despite the word party, it's not a political party? >> it's not a political party. >> reporter: crist by contrast is no tea party animal. did you ever sit down with any tea party activists and talked to them? have you talked to any of them over the phone? >> not really. no, i haven't. >> reporter: not once? >> no, not once, no. happy to. i probably have and don't know it. >> reporter: for groups like the tea party express, there's no contest. >> you want to know why there's anger with the republican party, republicans embracing massive tax and spend policies. no, that's not what the republican party is supposed to be about. that's what charlie crist did. >> reporter: tea party groups saying millions of republicans and even democrats are ready to take down some of the biggest names in politics, from democratic senate majority leader harry reid to republican john mccain.
7:16 am
but democrats say all that in-fighting between crist and rubio actually presents an opportunity. >> i take either one of them as long as they're wounded and limping into the general election. >> reporter: crist, who has a 50% job approval rating, is not backing down from a tea party fight. he defends the stimulus as a job saver and notes rubio has stated he too would have accepted funds from the program. >> about 20,000 teachers would be out of work today in my state. i can't in good conscience look them in the eye and say, you know, you and your family are going to be without a bread winner. people have to eat. >> reporter: he's gambling conservatives will come around to find conventional wisdom in his own party, crist met president obama for another stimulus event last week. did you get any feedback from your fellow republicans in this state that maybe you shouldn't be there when the president landed in tampa? >> a lot actually. >> reporter: they were telling you don't do it? >> yeah, quite a few people. i got a lot of advice. >> reporter: they shook hands for 27 seconds. >> i think people really want -- i think they're honestly sort of
7:17 am
tired of the bickering they see coming out of washington. i think that's part of the change they want to see. it's part of the reason i'm running for the united states senate. i think we need more civility. >> reporter: and crist is gambling that civility will beat anger come august 24th when that republican primary is held down in florida. guys, i have to tell you, charlie crist is not the only one who's under attack by tea partiers in florida. the florida state republican party chairman is stepping down in a couple of weeks because of pressure from the tea party movement. they don't like the fact that he came out in favor of charlie crist in this campaign. and jim greer, who's that chairman, said to me, when i talked to him about this series, he said, somebody tell me when i stopped being a conservative. that's how personal it's getting down there. >> very true. and we're glad you're covering it for us. thanks so much, jim. >> you got it. >> we do have more special coverage, by the way, in the next hour. 8:30 eastern, we're going to speak with david corn, political chief for politics daily.com. and mark mckinnon, former john mccain adviser and columnist for
7:18 am
the daily beast.
7:19 am
7:20 am
7:21 am
really excited there for a second. >> i like to see what makes it go on tv. >> that's a shot of our control room this morning, everyone working hard back there for you guys. meanwhile, we're out here just hanging out. >> no kidding. anyway, super bowl fever is closing schools, delaying classes. how about this one? don't you want to be in new orleans right now? home of the saints. one parish is reportedly shutting public schools monday because the celebrations may go late into the night. the kids deserve to watch their team take on the indianapolis colts, right? hometown classes also delayed an hour monday morning. a lesson learned from the team's last super bowl appearance three years ago. so many bus drivers failed to show up the next morning that schools had to be cancelled. go with the momentum. i love when schools can go like that. how great is that? >> it's the new snow day. tweens and teens prefer facebook to twitter.
7:22 am
according to a new survey of the social media from the pew internet project, another surprise. blogging is down by half among the 12 to 17 set in the last four years. researchers pointing to the explosion in texting as a possible explanation. when asked about twitter, most teens have no idea what it was. to quote one, twitter's lame. >> i'm just getting good at it. it shows you the farther away i get from being a teenager, better i get at twitter. >> when they do, they only follow the celebrity blogs. ashton kucher and stuff. they love the texting, those kids. time for "minding your business." we've stephanie elam with us this morning. >> good morning. my niece will text me just to say high. 11 years old and texting. >> are you going to text when you're done? >> i have my facebook synced to my tweeting because whatever i say on face book goes out. i can't handle it. it's too much. >> so we're all officially old. >> i just had my birthday. i'm officially old. our birthdays are a week apart.
7:23 am
we're all older here. let's talk about job losses here. here's the deal bp we know this was the great recession. we know we lost a lot of jobs over the last 12 months. guess what? it actually looks it may have been worse than originally thought. we're going to get a revision coming out from the bureau of labor statistics. this is for april of 2008 through march of 2009. the government's preliminary outlook is that 824,000 less workers were in the economy at that point. so that's a huge number obviously. then this is compared to current estimates now. so this would mean that right now the current estimate is for 4.8 million jobs had been lost during that period. this will raise that number to 5.6 million jobs being lost. and the reason why there is this revision is because the bureau uses data that wasn't available during the period. there's some numbers that were off. maybe someone started a company in the middle of the year. they didn't have the numbers on that. maybe they went out of business during that time. all of this is factored into these numbers here. the typical revision is usually quite slight.
7:24 am
these last 12 months we're talking about, nothing about them was normal. you had lehman going away. you had so many different things that took the economy to the brink. because of that, it's not a normal period. one thing i do want to tell you, the january jobs report does come out tomorrow. it's our big day for us. >> it's our super bowl. >> it's our super bowl tomorrow. we get the that monthly. we're expected to add 13,000 jobs. there's a lot of discrepancy about that. >> fingers crossed. >> the unemployment rate is expected to stay at 10%. >> meanwhile, you can't call in sick friday just because a jobs report comes out on thursday. >> that would be for us on saturday. we don't have to be here. >> that's right. tomorrow is friday. my goodness. >> our super bowl is always on friday. >> thank you so much. still ahead, is your car safe? we're going to be speaking to a former administrator that talks about what we do with this toyota problem. also a car dealer. [ male announcer ] when you buy a car,
7:25 am
what are you really buying? a shiny coat of paint? a list of features? what about the strength of the steel? the integrity of its design... or how it responds... in extreme situations? the deeper you look, the more you see the real differences. and the more you understand what it means to own a mercedes-benz. the c-class. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for special offers through mercedes-benz financial. ♪ through mercedes-benz financial. i was just in town for a few days, and i was wondering if i could say hi to the doctor. is he in? he's in copenhagen. oh, well, that's nice. but you can still see him! you just said he was in... copenhagen. come on! that's pretty far.
7:26 am
doc, look who's in town. ellen! copenhagen? cool, right? vacation. but still seeing patients. oh. [ whispering ] workaholic. i heard that. she said it. i... [ female announcer ] the new office. see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco.
7:27 am
a live shot of the white house this morning at 26 minutes past the hour. welcome back to the most news in the morning. we're showing that shot because we are awaiting the annual national prayer breakfast taking place in washington. the president is expected to speak this morning. our senior white house correspondent ed henry is live at the white house. ed, big picture for us today. what does the president hope to accomplish? >> reporter: good morning, kiran. what's really fascinate sg over the last couple of weeks this white house has been very aggressive about trying toette go the president as many settings as possible where he can be sort of doing a give and take, especially when he's sort of reaching out to the other side, as we saw him do in the state of union, we saw him do in that give and take with house republicans late last week. this is a tradition for presidents of both parties to go to this prayer breakfast. it's a nonpartisan setting. this fits into what we've been talking about lately, a chance to talk about bridging the divide. we talk a lot about how divided things are, and maybe we don't fully explain and give people good examples. i had lunch a couple of weeks ago with a republican senator
7:28 am
who told me that, when he first came to washington, they used to have republicans and democrats having dinner and socializing, et cetera. in recent years, one of the only things they do on a bipartisan or nonpartisan basis now is get together for these kind of prayer groups. there's a weekly one on capitol hill where they get together for breakfast, democrats and republicans. they put aside politics and talk about faith. this is the annual one. i think that fits into what they've been trying to do here in year two, resetting things and reaching out to the other side, kiran. >> we talk about resetting. we talk about reaching out to the other side. what are the prospects of, let's say, this jobs bill they want to get out there, that both sides would actually work together on that? >> reporter: that's a good question. both sides have been talking the talk recently about the president on this side of pennsylvania avenue, republican leaders on the other side. but the fact of the matter is right after this prayer breakfast, president's going to be having democratic leaders over here to the white house, harry reid, speaker pelosi, et cetera, to talk about the jobs bill, talk about other issues like health care. right now they're really not sure if they're going to get a lot of republican support. when you talk to top white house
7:29 am
aides, they think this jobs bill that's going to be debated in the senate is really the first test of whether this sort of new push for bipartisanship is going to work. they've sprinkled this bill with some sweeteners for republicans, small business tax cuts. other republicans saying we want an across the board tax cut. that's not enough. can they bridge this divide or not? this is going to be the first test, kiran. >> we'll wait and see. ed henry with us this morning from the white house. thanks so much. time for a look at top stories. a senior intelligence official says that a top taliban operative is believed to have been killed by an american missile strike in pakistan. government official telling the ap the terror leader may have been hit by a u.s. predator drone last month. the terror leader has taken responsibility for numerous attacks, including deadly blast inside the cia base in afghanistan last year. a rare multiple shark attack in south florida. a whole group of sharks killed a 38-year-old kite surfer yesterday. a lifeguard spotted the man struggling about a quarter mile offshore, but by the time he was
7:30 am
able to pull the man from the water, it was simply too late. this is florida's first shark attack fatality since 2005. >> wow. president obama's aunt, who's been in this country illegally for years, will learn today if she is indeed allowed to stay. in just a few hours, the kenyan native will go before an immigration judge in boston to make her second request for political asylum. she could potentially argue her ties to the president would make her a political target if she returns to kenya. many toyota drivers simply don't know if it's safe to drive to work this morning. now the company is admitting the toyota prius had problems but never told customers about it. now the government is demanding for answers from toyota about what's really causing runaway cars. more and more experts are saying sticky gas pedals are not the problem. so are these fixes the final fixes? here to talk about the trouble at toyota is david rosenberg, owner and president of prime motor group, which runs two toyota dealerships in massachusetts and maine. and joan claybrook, former a
7:31 am
administrator of the national highway transportation safety administration. david, i want to start with you. it's safe to say you've had a tough few days at your dealerships. what are you telling customers when they call you and say is it safe to drive my toyota on the recall list? >> what we're telling them, if they've experienced any problem with the accelerator sticks or moving back to the idle slowly, stop driving the vehicle immediately and call us, and we'll come pick the car up obviously and do the repair. if they haven't experienced any of the symptoms of the issue, that is, if their accelerator hasn't moved significantly, then we're telling them it's okay to drive their vehicle. we're getting the parts in every day for this recall. we've made hundreds of repairs yesterday. we're going to make hundreds of repairs today.
7:32 am
we're planning for the service department to be open for 24 hours until all these repairs are completed. >> david, show me. you have the part with you. you've got the part in-house. you're trying to make these fixes if you can. people are coming to you. they're getting fixed. how long is it taking to have the car fixed and being able to drive out therefor? >> it is a very simple fix. if you can see this, this is an accelerator right here. this is the accelerator pedal of the vehicle. this is where the accelerator pedal. obviously, this is the movement of the accelerator pedal. there's a little metal reinforcement bar right there. i don't know if you can see that or not. if you can see that, all we do is we insert this reinforcement bar into that pedal assembly. the repair takes at most a half hour. after we've had a lot more experience doing it, i'm sure it will be a lot quicker. it's a very, very easy fix. >> david, you know that i know the toyota is also sending
7:33 am
checks out to dealers, saying we realize you're going to have to be open later, you're go to have overtime. how has your communication with the company been through all of this? you feel like you're a partner in trying to preserve this brand, or you feel like this brand has been very badly damaged by all of this? >> i don't think toyota's been very badly damaged. my family's been involved with toyota since 1975, and i will say, out of all the manufacturers we represent, we have 15 different dealerships, our best relationship, our closest relationship is with toyota. they are great at getting us information expeditiously. they're very supportive. we have access to the higher echelons of the company. >> let me bring in joan claybrook now because you know very well how this industry works. you know, the important public safety aspect of this industry. ray lahood, joan, yesterday made some headlines by saying stop driving this car and then backtracking a little bit. now do you think the
7:34 am
transportation department and american regulators have been doing in all of this? >> well, i think that they let toyota unfortunately delay endlessly for four or five years really confronting and addressing this problem. i think that's why they're in the trouble that they are now. under ray lahood, it's been much tougher. i think that they've really pushed the company to do the right thing and to do these recalls. i'm more concerned about the initial recall, the one in november, dealing with the so-called floor mat recall because there the accelerator sticks, not just sticks, but it smashes to the floor in some cases. and even in vehicles without the floor mat. and so there's a real concern that there's an electronic problem here, and i think that's why, in the repair of those vehicles -- and there are 5 million of them -- that toyota is putting a brake override system, software change into the vehicle so that, if there's a
7:35 am
conflict between the accelerating and the braking, that the braking will stop the vehicle. >> and, joan, now we bring in the prius issue, which is on a much smaller scale, but certainly there are american drivers of the prius who bought this car before january of this year, who are very concerned this morning about whether they should get in this car and drive it for a different reason, for a braking reason. are you concerned about quality and safety at toyota in general from what you've heard so far? >> well, this company has a very good reputation. i'm very surprised that they've not been more aggressive in trying to make these corrections at an early stage. i hope that they'll move this as rapidly as possible. i don't think they've really come clean on this november recall with the format because i think it's more electronic on the prius brakes. they've known about this for a while. and braking and sudden acceleration, those are serious
7:36 am
defec defects. i hope the department of transportation jumps on this immediately and pushes toyota to make these repairs very, very rapidly because not having braking and sudden acceleration are hideous experiences to the public. >> this is why even this morning driving to work people are still curious and worried about whether they should be driving their cars. joan claybrook and david rosenberg, thank you so much for your time on this still developing story about toyota recalls. it's 36 minutes after the hour. . 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilitie.
7:37 am
7:38 am
7:39 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. a lot of states across the country, you can only vote in a primary if you're registered as a republican or a democrat. in kentucky, though, we found one independent voter working to change that. david mattingly reports, it's really turning into an uphill battle. >> reporter: as an independent voter with two small children and a mortgage to worry about, 26-year-old mike lewis has a common complaint. he feels like his concerns are drowned out by partisan bickering. >> these politicians talk about problems, but they're only keen on one solution. >> reporter: do you feel like you're being left out? >> of course.
7:40 am
there's no connection anymore. >> reporter: so lewis is taking matters into his own hands. i'm tagging along to see what happens as he drives his pickup to the state capital of his home state kentucky, hoping to give independents a bigger voice. okay. what's the plan? >> well, the plan is just to talk to as many senators as i can. senator lieber, how are you doing, sir? trying to get as many people on the ground if i can, wrestle them down if i have to. >> reporter: lewis is only partly kidding about a fight. he wants to overturn the state's closed primary system, a system that excludes tens of thousands of independent voters from primaries. and he knows he's about to hit a nerve. >> what you're saying is i don't like the way america runs its political system? if you don't like it, move to another country. >> that's untrue, senator. don't you want to talk to me about something real instead of these false truths that you'red spreading? >> reporter: the way it works right now in kentucky, you have to register as a republican or a democrat before you can vote in
7:41 am
a party primary. 17 other states have the same system. if you're an independent voter, you're not allowed to vote until the general election. democratic state senator and former kentucky governor julian carroll thinks independented should pick a party. >> if they want a party, fine, we'll create a party, and then they can have their own party that believes in their own principles. >> reporter: independents don't want to have their own party. >> i could care less what they want. i'm telling you how we operate a democracy in it america, david. we operate a democracy in america with the two-party system. you're trying to destroy the two-party system in america, and i'm not going to be a part of it. end of this conversation. >> you went on record saying i'm trying to start a party. there is no party here, sir. i'll see you on the floor, senator. i appreciate it. >> reporter: and just a few hours later, there was a vote in the state senate. with it, another surprise. >> there's a little bit of irony here. the bill seems to be split down
7:42 am
party lines. most democrats, led by carroll, opposed opening primaries to independents. most republicans, holding the majority, voted yes. >> bill is passed. >> this is is strictly about letting an individual, an independent, a little "i," get out there in the primary and be a part of the process. >> reporter: but lewis still has a long way to go for an independent voter victory. open primaries now goes to the kentucky house, where democrats hold the majority. david mattingly, cnn, frankfort, kentucky. >> all right, david, thanks. this morning's top stories just minutes away, including a cnn exclusive. a lawsuit targeting toyota claims a woman was killed in a runaway car that sped out of control and a lot of potential problems we're hearing about in our latest recall. deb feyerick is going to be breaking that down for us today. at 8:03 eastern, something prifry advocates may consider an unholy alliance, google and the nsa working together.
7:43 am
will your searches be safe? and welcome to the tea party. cnn cutting through the noise, taking an in depth look at the tea party movement. many people who feel abandoned by their leaders in washington. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the cadillac cts sport sedan. one of car & driver's 10 best for the third year in a row. ♪ and now, cadillac announces the new luxury collection lease. and now, cadillac announces wto answer 10 questionss you help our community get what it needs for the next, oh, 10 years. we can't move forward until you mail it back. 2010 census over a million people have discovered how easy it is to use legalzoom for important legal documents. so start your business,
7:44 am
protect your family, launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. he sure is working up an appetite up there. bet you guys are, too. how about some hamburger helper?
7:45 am
cheeseburger mac... how 'bout some after the show? hamburger helper. one pound. one pan. one tasty meal. i see that. see the goal posts over there. >> we're getting excited, right? >> indianapolis. doesn't matter if it rains, doesn't matter if it's cold.
7:46 am
it's going to be sunny and 80 every day this week in indiana. >> so exciting. >> actually, it's cloudy and 24 then sunny and 39. doesn't matter if it's cold, i think. >> what's the weather going to be like? get a check with rob marciano. he's keeping track of the extreme weather. i know you're going to watch the super bowl. are you rooting for a team or no? >> i've got to love peyton manning, but you got to like the story of new orleans and brees. so how's that for a politically correct answer? >> i like that. that was very pc. >> i'm going colts, baby. there you go. i just got a lot of my friends in new orleans upset with me. who dat. heavy rain across parts of new orleans today and a big storm system taking shape. actually, two pieces of atmospheric energy. there's your red lows. snow to the north. heavy rain is going to take over to the south. we'll see potentiallied flooing from houston getting into atlanta. pretty deep layer of moisture here. it's only going to get deeper as it taps that water from the gulf of mexico and new orleans to hattiesburg and montgomery. the rain shield now extending
7:47 am
into atlanta. it will eventually hit the colder airs in place now across parts of the appalachians, mid-atlantic, delmarva, and the northeast. similar scenario to what we saw in late december. i think we'll see similar snow amounts at least in some cases. winter storm watches and warnings have been posted. 10 to 20 inches of snow potentially near the baltimore and washington, d.c. area. how far north it gets to new york, that's a big question. right now computer models are keeping it south, and new york just kind of gets clipped. houston, rain and clouds if you're traveling through those hubs. minneapolis freezing, fog at least in the morning. tomorrow's forecast, weather map shows a big old mess across the eastern sea board. we are trying to get some of that snow to our snow starved friends in the big apple. right now it looks like just a few inches. most of the action is going to be south of, say, trenton, new jersey. back to you guys. >> my sleds are greased. my kids are all ready to go. >> start driving south as soon as the show is over. >> did you say 10 to 20 inches in baltimore and washington?
7:48 am
did i really just hear you say that? >> yeah, that's the potential of this thing. it will be localized amounts. it may sneak up to new york. we'll give you an update tomorrow morning. we'll see. >> my parents are coming up from maryland. they'd better get in the car and get up here. >> get them on the road early, kiran. >> thanks, rob. if you're not a big fan of big teeth, long tails, and scaly skin, you may want to avoid the place we're about to show you. >> we're talking about a park in the florida everglades, where there's nothing between you and 100-pound alligators. who did we send to check it out? none other than our very own john zarrella. >> reporter: he knows you are there. take his picture. he's cool with that. all 800 pounds of him. >> i'm pretty freaked out by it. i don't want to get any closer. >> no? >> no. >> i just can't believe we're not warned before we come in here. >> reporter: the reaction from visitors is standard fare. >> some of them don't believe the alligators are alive. they think we've planted them. >> reporter: from upstate new york, doug and caroline finke
7:49 am
don't see gators too often, never this up close and personal. >> i was just going to say what stops us from just going up and trying to pet him? >> reporter: common sense? >> i know that. but not everyone has it, like me. >> reporter: this is florida's everglades national park, a spot called shark valley. the name totally misleading. it's home to wading birds, water birds, roosting birds, and apparently very friendly birds. >> the birds in europe are more shy. you cannot come as close to a bird like here in the states. >> reporter: really? >> yeah, i cannot understand why. >> reporter: but what shark valley is most noted for is its alligators. hundreds of them. there may be no other place in the world like it. every few feet along the 15-mile trail, there is a gator lazily sunning itself. fortunately, less interested in the humans than they are in it. look at this. there's an alligator right here. literally, he's sitting up on
7:50 am
the rocks in the bushes. alligators apparently do grow on trees here. are they scary? >> no. >> reporter: no? >> no. >> reporter: you want to get a little closer? >> yes. >> reporter: come on. talk about trusting, we stood within about ten feet of a dozen gators. you like it? >> yes. really. do you like it? >> yes. >> are you crazy? you like alligators? >> yes, i am crazy. >> reporter: walk the path or boo bike it, so just don't get close. >> then there is always federal prison. you don't want to go that route either. >> the rules are simple. don't touch them or feed them or mess with them, just marvel at them. would you go? >> did you see the guy with the
7:51 am
baby on the back of the bike? >> yeah. >> he is like the gator whisperer, right? it's 51 minutes past the hour.
7:52 am
7:53 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. it's 53 minutes past the hour. it's a time for your "am" house call. listen to this. nearly 100,000 americans die every year from preventible medical errors.
7:54 am
one contributing factor, doctor fatigue. and now welcome to the program. tell us how serious a problem this is of doctor fatigue? in 1989, there was a seminal study about preventible medical errors. ten years later, one of the big key reasons for medical errors, doctor fatigue. have we addressed it? is it still such a problem? >> not really. a lot of people would not be getting on a plane if they were told their pilot had been awake for over 24 hours. and a lot of times people are being taken care of by a doctor who is sleep deprived.
7:55 am
there is federal regulation preventing pilots, people driving trains, from being able to do their work unless they had an adequate amount of sleep. today we are announcing a campaign, wake updoctor.org. there is a lot of errors caused by sleeplessness, and you can sign a possession to strengthen the regulation over doctors, so you are not going to be exposed to a doctor who has not been asleep. and people are aware from talking to other people or their own experiences about injuries or deaths that occurred as a result of the sleep deprivation. we do have to worry. the outrage needs to build and we need to regulate it. >> why is there a residence, in particular, maybe 120 hours a
7:56 am
work. one an staetologist was 24 hours and then proper hours off, and then 24 hours on -- why can't that culture change? >> it's inhumane. to treat doctors in an inhumane way where they are not allowed to sleep, it's not only inhumane to them but also inhumane to the resident. it's a bad and dangerous culture. we hope people will go to wak p
7:57 am
wakeupdoctor.org. >> what can you do yourself to take control of a situation if you think that you are looking at a doctor who literally is the walking dead? >> well, some doctors are apparently sleepy and dozing off, and that's almost too far. you need to put pressure on the hospital that you use either on an elective basis or an emergency basis not to allow doctors to be going that long without sleep. sleeplessness is dangerous and it's akin to having a lot of alcohol onboard. you cannot make decisions or operate properly or make the right kind of decisions about drugs if you don't have enough sleep. we need to have it regulated. it's inexexcusable, bus drivers and pilots are regulated and not allowed to sleep as little as doctors are. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> wakeupdoctor.org for more
7:58 am
information on this. >> top stoeries coming your way 37 mind if i take a shortcut? yeah, sure. [ tires screech ] ♪ [ man ] i knew the subaru legacy was the smart choice. ♪ what i didn't expect was the fun. [ male announcer ] the subaru legacy. feel the love.
7:59 am
good morning. it's thursday, february 4th. i am christine romans sitting in for john roberts this morning. >> thank you for being with us. kiran chetry here.
8:00 am
john is on the mend. the u.s. has the right to kill u.s. citizens overseas if they are involved in terrorists activities is the word. the first ever national tea party convenes today. new trouble for toyota and the people that drive the cars. the automaker admitting it saw the design flaw in the prius. now experts are questioning toyota's fans to fix millions of cars for the faulty gas pedal, and they say the electrical malfunction and not the pedals could be the problem. the director of national intelligence yesterday telling lawmakers the u.s. has the
8:01 am
authority to takeout americans overseas that present a direct threat to our security. this is a sensitive issue. explain the context surrounding the words? >> there is an extraordinary public admission. right out there on the table, the director of national intelligence, dennis blair, yesterday, telling congress the u.s. intelligence community have the authority to target and kill american citizens abroad if they are involved in terrorists activities if they threaten americans. let's get to what admiral blair has to say. >> we take direct action against terrorists in the intelligence community, if that direct action -- we think that direct action will involve killing an american, we get specific permission to do that. the reason i went this far in open session, i don't want other
8:02 am
americans watching to think that we are careless about endangering -- we are not careless about endangering lives at all, but we are especially not careless about endangering americans. >> he went on to say what they are not doing is targeting americans for free speech, targeting them specifically if they threaten other americans, if they threaten the united states. who might be topping the list right now? it's not publicly acknowledged, but privately many administration officials say they are looking to deal with anwar maliki. nobody is saying they are targeting him to kill him, but he is one of the next american citizens abroad that the u.s.
8:03 am
intelligence community wants to deal with. >> they believe he is riding in yemen now? >> correct. >> what government agency would take the lead in this if they were to take action? >> it would be a decision based on information from the intelligence community that some american citizen is posing this threat and needs to be dealt with. how can it be carried out? the intelligence, and the drone uses missiles and they have used it many time to target terror suspects, and there is a covert capability in the special forces and special operations forces to deal with this kind of situation, kiran. >> new information for us and a very interesting story that is sure to spark controversy. thank you. a new twist this morning in the case of the american missionaries jailed in haiti for trying to take 33 children to
8:04 am
the dominican republic. they said they thought their paperwork was in order. but authorities are rejecting that claim, they said they warned the group their so-called mercy mission was illegal. >> i warn her, and i say as soon as you get there without the proper documents, you are going to get in trouble because you have the intent to cross the border without the proper papers. >> the americans can find out as early as today if they are going to be pressed with charged or be able to leave. join us as we look for answer on the "ac 360." more than 100 owners have
8:05 am
registered complaints in the toyota hybrid. toyota says the problem is not serious enough for the prius to be recalled. all that coming after an alarming message to toyota owners yesterday from the transportation secretary, ray lawhood. >> my advice is, if you own a vehicle, stop driving it and take it to toyota because they feel like they have the fix for it. >> he said he misspoke and what he meant is for people to take their vehicles in for repairs. google and the nsa. the two of them teaming up, but not how you might think. google asked the national security agency for help warting off cyber attacks.
8:06 am
as for the careful balance between security sources, it does not mean they will view american searchers or e-mail accounts. watch this. you may know this as the freedom tower. the future skyscraper is now 200 feet above street level. that's an important milestone. rebuilding on the site has ran into miles of red tape, but the skyscraper is slated to be completed by 2013. right now the national prayer breakfast in washington. it takes place on the first thursday of february every year. you are looking at a live picture of the event. president obama is there and expected to speak. we will monitor this and let you know what he says. scott brown scheduled to be sworn into office today.
8:07 am
the republican senator-elect will assume the seat once held by the late ted kennedy. and the ceremony is expected to begin at 5:00 eastern time. they talked about if there was a delay, but it appears the certification is going through. rob marciano will talk about what we have in store for the week, and it looks like there could be snow or precipitation, as they say in the business. >> yeah, plenty of that. snow north and moisture from the south. here it is on the map. big storm that will be developing across the gulf states. right now it's kind of split. it will come together. snow to the north and rain to the south, and some of the rainfall is deep and new orleans to montgomery spreading into atlanta.
8:08 am
if you are traveling through atlanta or houston, you will have problems. and traveling through d.c., baltimore or philly tomorrow, big problems. may see a repeat from december, which was snowfall amounts insect sin excess of 20 inches. more in a minute, guys. >> it has been staying to the south when you live up and down the east coast, and so we dodged a bullet in new york for the most part. >> so far. >> another snowbama maybe on the white house lawn. and scientists say it's a cosmic collision between astr d astroi astroids. they are each traveling at 11,000 miles an hour, and that's
8:09 am
five times faster than a speeding bullet. >> that's a lot of action. cool. it's tea party time, and they are on a roll after putting money behind scott brown's win in massachusetts. we will explain coming up.
8:10 am
8:11 am
♪ welcome back to the most news in the morning. time for an "a.m." original. and there is a coming together of a lot of grassroots organizations. about a year ago, many of them fed up with the deficits and bailouts and not happy with health care either, and a few feel they were abandoned by their own political parties. we are looking at the real issues that brought people here in a special series "welcome to
8:12 am
the tea party." >> yeah, impacting a key senate race in florida. a republican candidate is giving the state's most powerful politician a run for his money in the primary. good morning, jim. >> mark arubio has been referred to as the republican barack obama, not because he is taking on the democrats, but because he is taking on a fellow republican, and the governor down in florida, charlurlie cri. >> we know it's important that we pass the stimulus package. >> for charlie crist, it's the hug that won't let go. his embrace of the president and the stimulus program at this town hall meeting last year could cost the rising gop star a shot at the u.s. senate seat. >> i have been hearing about the
8:13 am
tea parties for a while. >> meet mark rubio. he turned the hug into a fun fund-raising gift that keeps on giving. >> would you give obama a hug? >> i don't know. i don't know him. why would i hug somebody i don't know? >> yeah, charlie crist got in trouble. >> that got attention, but what he is in trouble is supporting a plan that hurts the country. >> there is a number of growing americans never been involved in politics before. he is taking the message to lower taxes to tea party events. his youtube page shows protesters venting their anger.
8:14 am
>> i am running as a republican. >> despite the word party, it's not a political party. >> he is no tea party animal. >> do you sit down with tea party activist or talk to them over the phone? >> no, i have not. >> not once? >> no, not once. i probably have and don't know it. >> for groups like the tea party express, no contest? >> you want to know why there is anger for the republican party. >> they are ready to take down some of the biggest names in politics, from democratic senate majority leader, harry reid, to john mccain. all the fighting between crist and rubio. >> crist is not backing down to
8:15 am
a tea party fight. he defends the stimulus as a job saver and notes rubio would have accept the funds from the program. >> 20,000 teachers would have been out of work today in my state, and i could not look at them and say you and your family will be without a breadwinner. people have to eat. >> and he will find conventional support from his body, crist met with obama last week. >> they were telling you don't be there when obama lands? >> yeah, quite a few people. >> they shook hands for 27 seconds. >> i think people are tiring of the bickering they see coming out of washington. it's part of the change they want to see and it's part of the reason i am running for the united states senate. >> chris crist is gambling that
8:16 am
will trump the anger. and speaking on how personal the race is getting, the chair of the republican party in that state stepped down because when he voiced his support for charlie crist the tea party movement went nuts and decided greer could no longer keep that possession. he asked, when did i stop being conservative? >> handshake or hug to carry so much political weight. it shows you how interesting the dynamics are or how charged the dynamics are right now. >> yeah, there was a time when democrats and republicans could shake hands, and you hear about how tip o'neal and ronald reagan used to have drinks and tell irish jokes together at the white house and cut a deal and balance the budget. >> this is a governor of a state
8:17 am
and the president of the united states. it doesn't matter what party you are in, a protocol. >> yeah, and even that could make you damaged goods in the eyes of some in the movement. and the question is, is that right? is that where we should be going as a country? >> the good old days of getting together and balance a budget -- wait, we don't balance budgets anymore. we will talk about the borough chief of mother jones and mark mckinnon. very, very interesting stuff last friday. their new website is demanding more from the president and republican leaders from congress, and a new era of dialogue. >> we will talk about a new era
8:18 am
on wall street where we lost. my mother made the best toffee in the world. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality.
8:19 am
at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
8:20 am
♪ 20 minutes past the hour. stephan stephan stephanie minding your money now. >> remember the end of the '90s
8:21 am
and 2000, and everything was rosy and now everything fell out and stocks are hitting a hit. let's start off with cisco systems. we are talking about the biggest market value losers. they lost $425 billion after the bubble popped. the tech bubble. they are still a top internet gear provider, but the cap of having the cap of a billion dollars, that's gone. and then ge lost 70% of the value during the decade. and intel was impacted by the tech bubble bursting as well. they hit their peak in august of 2000. and then microsoft, losing $390
8:22 am
billion. they are still the second largest company behind exxon mobile here in the united states. it shows you how tough it was for the companies, and important the people investing in the companies, it played out in their portfolios. >> this tech company that did not exist ten years ago is now one of the biggest companies in the world, and now -- >> yeah, it was amazing. you want to see the rest of the losers there, and you can go to cnn.com, they have a nice writup. >> i am sure the parent of the y of the network must be on that list. toyota hits another bump in the road. an electronics problem?
8:23 am
simply the unexplained acceleration problem? what is behind it, and are the fixes being prescribed today the right fixes for the problems? >> and then add to that breaking problems as well for the prius. still ahead, politico bloggers launching an online campaign, they want a monthly question and answer session with the president and the gop as well.
8:24 am
coach, you look great. wow, coach, you really are back in the game. i took your advice, dan, and i lost 32 pounds on nutrisystem, and i feel great. so what are your numbers? and i've kept it off for three years. order now and you can get two weeks of awesome meals free, plus the all-new nutrisystem jumpstart kit, our secrets to ultimate weight loss. hey, you guys. boomer. well, thanks to you guys, i did go all the way. whoop, 50 pounds lighter thanks to nutrisystem.
8:25 am
so, coach, how is the squad looking? best ever. you know, i have a real hall-of-famer at the helm. l.t.?! why not, danny boy? i lost 35 pounds on nutrisystem. l.t. and cheerleaders: pizzas, pastas, burgers, meat! come on, guy food is all you'll eat! four out of five men say nutrisystem satisfies their hunger. order now and you can get two weeks of meals absolutely free, plus the all-new nutrisystem jumpstart kit. call or click today. [ cheering ] welcome back to the most news in the morning. 25 minutes past the hour. millions of americans drive
8:26 am
toyotas, and today many are asking the same question is it safe to get behind the wheel of my car. toyota is confirming the hot-selling prius hybrid has a design flaw in the breaking system, claiming a recall is not necessary. >> and toyota centers are jammed, customers trying to get sticky pedals repairs, but some experts are saying it's an electrical malfunction, and not the pedals on their own is the real problem. debra fairic is live. you have a michigan family looking for answers after losing a loved one. >> absolutely. even though toyota says it found the solution to sudden acceleration problems, mounting criticism toyota may not be ak snlging a serious electronic problem in the throttling system. now, a company that monitors is
8:27 am
looking into it. >> a fear a woman must felt trying to control her camry as she barreled down a small street at 80 miles per hour. >> the car went airborne and was going 80 miles per hour and hit the tree on the top and it just went down. she died instantly. >> reporter: she was an extremely careful driver in good health by all accounts. >> my mother would never cross a street, because of the two-way traffic. >> witnesses say the car seemed to speed out of control. nobody knows why. but it fits the pattern of thousands of incidents of acceleration involving toyota
8:28 am
vehicles. toyota recalled millions of cars, not including the model driven by this woman. >> what i hear over and over and over again, i'm driving down the road and my car just takes off on me. i apply the breaks, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. that's the pattern that we have seen. >> so unequivocally, these recalls simply do not get to the core of the problems that toyota has. >> safety analysts, sean kane lies in the electronic system that controls the speed of the car. >> these are computer-guided systems, and we know electronics fail, and they do fail and will fail. the problem with toyota, they have not built enough fail safe
8:29 am
devices in the car to make sure they can have control of the car when it happens. >> a executive from toyota ruled out any problem with the accelerator with the electronics. >> for the electronic control unit we cannot come across any case where we found that there was a misfunction in the system. >> based on your evidence, you're suggesting there are cars on the road that right now should be recalled? >> i think the recalls cover less than half of the models and model years that need to be part of this recall. >> toyota says it basis its
8:30 am
recalls on defects that have been identified and not soley on reports of unintended acceleration. wednesday they filed an injunction demanding they recall the models affected. >> while everybody tries to figure this out including toyota, i presume, we need a system so the sudden accelerations do not become deadly accidents. that's what the break override system does. >> a system that possibly could have saved the life of alberto. >> once in a while, if i come by this -- just to say a prayer, or just to come and look and remember the place where she died. but, it's very painful, very vivid in my heart. >> toyota says all new cars in
8:31 am
2011 will be programmed with the break override system. and in november during the floor mat recall, toyota said it would install the override system. toyota did not call it a safety measure, but said it was an extra measure of confidence for drivers. >> thank you, deb. we are crossing the half hour and we will look at other top stories. a senior intelligence person says a top taliban off rperativ believed to have been killed in a strike. he may have been hit by a u.s. predator drone last month. the terror leader has taken responsibility for numerous attacks, including the deadly blast inside a cia base in afghanistan last year. the white house is announcing president obama will not attend the winter olympics in vancouver. the president's decision easing
8:32 am
concerns over security, which is costing canada over $900 million. and california governor schwarzenegger is taking jabs at other states while promoting california. he said florida is for old people, and there is no one screaming i can't wait to get to iowa. folks in iowa not too happy with that comment, including christine. and there is a growing call this morning from un-like minded political pros and for congress to air televised answer and question sessions. two people behind the move are with us in wash. david corn, and also mark mckinnon, a former adviser to john mccain.
8:33 am
welcome. >> i was reading your blog, you are an original endorser of the petition that you are circulating, to get this to happen, this televised event on friday where we saw the president answering and questions questions of gop leadership. it seemed like a refreshing change compared to the spin cycle in washington. >> this is a refreshing example of a win-win situation in washington. i think the president has done more in one hour last week than he has in the year to get the poison out of the well in washington. we have the demandquestion.com petition going around. time really freeze, as david told me earlier, and people felt like they were getting a real dialogue from the leadership in washington. we would love to see more of it.
8:34 am
>> a lot of people saying this is a partisan and bitter times right now in washington. you have been around a long time. do you feel like it's a unique time, or do we talk about this in cycles regardless of who is president or in congress? >> i think it's a very vicious partisan moment, and we have the cable news cycle and the internet news cycle and the twitter news cycle, and things do go by much faster. i think that does tend to push people towards extremes in terms of rhetoric when it comes to political conversations. we never faced more profound challenges in our nation, and in our world. we really need a high level of policy and political debate. i think that's what we saw last friday. and i think it forced, both the president and the republican leaders to really be at the top of their game.
8:35 am
this is an instance when competition works. you have the leaders of the opposition in congress and the president getting in front of the public and mixing it up and trying to convince the public that they have the better answers. and we could all watch and we could decide. it was, as mark said, a refreshing moment. it seemed like that whole cycle of internet talk, and cable discussion that you and i are part of, and it's fun in a lot of ways and good, but it sort of stopped for a moment and we slowed down. there was real consideration of the issues. >> let me just stop you for a moment. i want to run a clip of a little sn snippette that happened on friday. let's take a look. >> will that new budget, like your old budget, triple the national debt and continue to take us down the path of increasing the cost of government to almost 25% of our economy? that's the question, mr. president? >> jim, with all due respect i
8:36 am
have to take the last question of how it's hard to have the kind of bipartisan work that we are going to do. because the whole question was structured as a talking point. >> there you go. a lot of people thought the president shined there, mark, and perhaps some of the republicans wanted a rematch. does the format have the potential to favor the president who also did this on the campaign trail. >> no question it was a courageous and bold move on the president's part. but the republicans were overall very diplomatic. there was great exchanges between the gop and the president. the viewers that watched got a hear a complete airing of the differences between the political parties. it was really a terrific example of washington coming together to debate the issues. speaking of political parties, and david i want to get your take on the tea party
8:37 am
movement. the tea party convention is getting under way today in nashville. does it think it's a threat to either party when it comes to getting candidates elected? >> well, this convention that is coming together or not coming together actually this week in nashville is a bit of a plop. the only thing that is happening is people that can afford $600 tickets in order to pay sarah palin a $1600 fee will be eating steak and lobster. it's not really the movement. they are putting pressure on republican candidates to be far more conservative than they would like to be and that may threaten them down the road in general elections. i am all for activism.
8:38 am
and there is a ron paul, if he is adopting the foreign policy of his father, which is to be against the war in afghanistan and iraq, that may not fit well with sarah palin, who are also tea party darlings. >> yeah, not a leader here, but what do you think as a political movement, are they having an impact? >> huge impact. the movement is real. this is tremendous energy out there, and a lot of anger and frustration that the tea party reflects. and there is no central organizing focus of the party, so you have a lot of desperate things happening around the country that don't have any really any command or control. and as david pointed out, this thing in florida is problematic, because there is nobody really de dictating the structure in florida that makes sense.
8:39 am
>> thank you so much. >> thank you that. we would love for you to go to our blog, share your comments, cnn.com/amfix. we are talking about some wild gators, republic tiles, the real ones, living everywhere, and a little 15-mile walk, a path where you can take a walk on the wild side. that's coming up next. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, you lost your phone and you're disoriented. i'm not disoriented. now you are. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. onstar emergency. is everything ok howie? you don't answer, they can automatically send help to your exact location. i think i'll ride with you. the award-winning malibu. from chevy. in the north of england to my new job at the refinery
8:40 am
in the south. i'll never forget. it used one tank of petrol and i had to refill it twice with oil. a new car today has 95% lower emissions than in 1970. exxonmobil is working to improve cars, liners of tires, plastics which are lighter and advanced hydrogen technologies that could increase fuel efficiency by up to 80%. transform drinks you want, into cold medicine you need. introducing fast crystal packs. a new way from alka-seltzer plus to... get cold and flu relief in a taste-free, fizz-free powder. alka-seltzer plus.
8:41 am
8:42 am
♪ welcome back to the most news in the morning, if you are not a fan of long tails and scales, this may not be the vacation destination for you. we are talking about a park in the florida everglades where there is nothing, nothing between you and 800-pound alligators. who did we send this to check out? none other than our john
8:43 am
zarella. >> reporter: he is cool with a picture, all 800 pounds of him. >> i cannot believe we are not warned before we come in here. >> reporter: the reaction from visitors is standard fair. >> some people don't believe they are alive, they think we planted them. >> reporter: some people from upstate new york never see them, at least not up close and personal. >> what keeps us from going up and petting them? >> reporter: common sense. >> yeah, i know that. but not everybody has that, like me. >> reporter: this is home to water birds, and roosting birds and apparently friendly birds. >> the birds in europe are friendly, you cannot come up close like this. i cannot understand why. >> reporter: but what this is
8:44 am
known for is alligators, and every few feet along the 15-mile trail, a gator sunning itself. fortunately, less interested in the humans than they are in it. there is an alligator right here, and literally sitting up on the rocks and in the bushes. alligators apparently do grow on trees here. are they scary? >> no. >> reporter: want to get closer? talk about trusting, we stood within ten feet of a dozen gators. do you like it? >> yes. >> reporter: are you crazy, you like alligators up close? >> yes, i am crazy. >> reporter: you can walk the path or bike it, which makes for a quick getaway, although there has never been any incidents.
8:45 am
the rules are simple, don't touch them or feed them or mess with them, just marvel at them. john zarella, cnn, shark valley. >> did he call it shark valley? that's funny. we want to show alive picture right now, and the national prayer breakfast. there are you are looking at secretary of state, hillary clinton, is speaking right now. we are monitoring it and will let you know what obama says. and our rob marciano tracking the extreme weather, unfortunately for many, it's just in time for the weekend.
8:46 am
8:47 am
8:48 am
♪ beautiful picture coming from nashville, tennessee. light rain, and 45. we will check in with our own rob marciano, and he has what could be a not-so-great weekend weather-wise. >> well, it all depends on your relative perspective. if you are a snow lover and live anywhere from d.c. to new york
8:49 am
city you will like this weekend. if you live in the southeast, you may not like today because it will be wet and it will be heavy at times and there will be wind. snow to the north and rain to the south. the moisture extends from nebraska to the mexican border and now stretching into the atlanta area where the rains will increase from atlanta to new orleans throughout the day, andae eventually stretching up. and this snow line will get into the d.c. area probably around mid morning tomorrow and begin to accumulate around lunchtime and then lasting, it looks like, in through midday saturday. and then maybe freezing drizzle in minneapolis, and it will be gusty, guys, on top of this, especially in the jersey shore. i don't know how much snow will get to new york, but not as much
8:50 am
as d.c. if you want to build a snowman, head to the nation's capital. >> the weather man is always right, so if you say we will not get snow, we probably won't get snow. >> you may not get much. >> is tomorrow national weather man's day? >> yes, i forgot. i will give you the address to send gifts. >> president is in the mail. take care, rob. do you ladies play golf? >> no. >> no. >> kyra does. i know she does. >> you ruined it. rob marciano, do you play golf? >> he does. >> all right. well, let me give you a couple pieces of advice if you decide to go out there, and the object is to keep your head down and eye on the ball, right? well, take a look at this. this golf ball designer thought, hey, i got an idea. i will put pictures of tiger
8:51 am
woods' mistresses on the golf balls. it's called the mistress collection. see this woman, she is one of the former miss stresses, and apparently a porn star/actress, and she is not too happy her face is on the golf ball, so we will talk about that coming up in the next hour or so. >> we'll give you a talking point, kyra. >> some women very offended by that. >> that's right. and then a new study showing brain activity detected in some in a narrow class of patients that had been classified as people in a vengitative state.
8:52 am
8:53 am
8:54 am
welcome back to the most news in the morning. time for an am house call, stories about your health. a man in a deeply unconscious state for five years has communicated with doctors using his thoughts. it says it shows the patient not in a vegetative state as previously diagnosed. scientists used a brain scanner to determine yes or no questions. it could impact the way doctor's care for coma patients. it has been five years since hurricane katrina destroyed lives across the gulf coast.
8:55 am
to this day the city of new orleans are still working to bounce back. >> and tom foreman has the first in the new series of reports, building up america. >> reporter: along with the thousands of homes and lives katrina took on the gulf coast, countless lively hoods disappeared, too. nearly 130,000 jobs were lost around new orleans alone as businesses crumbled and their owners fled. >> i was born and raised here. >> reporter: matt wisdom stood firm. >> it was not clear if we could return to anything that we had known before. >> reporter: what made you decide to stay? >> we decided we cannot be away from it. this is the time. either come and make it work, or leave and find a new life. >> reporter: where are we now? >> the office in new orleans. >> reporter: but matt's company,
8:56 am
turbo squid, which sells 3-d models faces other problems that businesses did. >> communication, and transportation, all was in sh shambl shambles. they got creative and coordinated. a man in here knows exactly how it happened. this storm could have destroyed the whole place, but it gave us a chance at intense self examination. >> reporter: since the storm, he points out aggressive efforts to improve schools and provide tax incentsives for industry, and a fresh business recruiting campaign helped to keep new orleans unemployment rate to less than half that of many other cities. in addition, ambition young businesses like turbo squid are being grouped into building
8:57 am
markets. the result? >> for every one older professional that we lost because of the storm, two younger professionals moved in. you are seeing one of the greatest comeback stories of the nation. >> reporter: matt used the city's representation as an art center to draw talent to his firm. what have you learned here that would help other communities as they try to get through the economic hard time? >> some of it is to do what you are good at, it's to focus on doing one thing or a few things incredibly well, and building the best team of people around you. >> reporter: it worked. matt's staff of 35 is twice as big as before the storm, and the company is the largest online vendor in the world of 3-d, not
8:58 am
bad for a local boy that wanted to build-up his battered home and help others to do the same. tom foreman, cnn, new orleans. [ playing "mary had a little lamb" off-key ] he sure is working up an appetite up there. bet you guys are, too. how about some hamburger helper? cheeseburger mac... how 'bout some after the show? hamburger helper. one pound. one pan. one tasty meal.
8:59 am
a we don't go lower than 130. ts a room tonight for 65 dollars. big deal, persuade him. is it wise to allow a perishable item to spoil? he asked, why leave a room empty? the additional revenue easily covers operating costs. 65 dollars is better than no dollars. okay. $65 for tonight. you can't argue with a big deal. for just $29.99 at red lobster.

448 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on